A Delhi court on Tuesday issued notices to Aam Aadmi Party leaders Manish Sisodia and Gopal Rai on a contempt plea seeking action against them for their statements regarding the court order sending Arvind Kejriwal to judicial custody.
Metropolitan Magistrate Gomati Manocha sought response from Sisodia and Rai on the plea filed by advocate Pankaj Mendiratta, who alleged that they had made ‘contemptuous statements’ suggesting that the court process in the defamation case against Kejriwal was “not judicious and in accordance with law but was a result of change in political scenario”. The court has now fixed the matter for further hearing on July 11.
In his plea, Mendiratta alleged that Sisodia and Rai have caste “serious aspersions upon the independence of the court giving an impression that the order passed by this court was an after effect of change in government at the Centre thereby undermining and scandalising the judicial process.”
The petitioner also alleged that on May 21, when Kejriwal was remanded to judicial custody after he refused to furnish the bail bond in connection with a criminal defamation complaint filed against him by Nitin Gadkari, he had seen and heard some “contemptuous statements” by Sisodia and Rai. “The above statement made on May 21 unambiguously has sent a wrong message to the public at large that the process so adopted by this court was not judicious and in accordance with law but was a result of change in political scenario,” the petition said.
The petitioner also claimed that Sisodia and Rai have “clearly conveyed that the courts are not independent and the change in the attitude of the court is at the behest of change in political scenario”.
Former Delhi chief minister Kejriwal was sent to judicial custody by a magistrate on May 21 for two days. On May 23, his custody was extended by 14 days till June 6 after he refused to furnish a bail bond when he was granted bail in the case.